The skytrain into Vancouver wasn’t crowded Saturday, but there were no empty seats. I stood and held a handrail. Across from me were four occupied seats marked for disabled and senior riders. Two people sitting there qualified, two others were young women completely lost in their phones. One looked glum, one smiled at what she watched, but neither looked up. Not once.
Me (thinking): I want to tap the knee of the happily oblivious one, point to the sign, point to myself.
Me (countering): Are you having any trouble standing? Are you frail or unsteady or tired at the moment?
Me: No. But the principle of the thing, and well, sitting beats standing.
Me: Over and over again, people — including young people — offer me seats, hold doors, usher me ahead. So it’s not like this is a continuing pattern I need to crusade against today.
Me: True. Young people here are astonishingly nice. So why is this bothering me?
Me: Feels like my right…
The senior got off, so I sat down between Happy and Glum. I kept my eyes open at stops for another older person, still itching to tap a knee. No such person appeared for the benefit of this possible instruction. Happy and Glum got off. Next stop, I exited too. I felt energetic enough to run up the escalator. I was strangely pleased I hadn’t made a fuss. If I’d been shaky or whatever, a tap or”excuse me” would be appropriate, but really, do I want to barrel my way through the rest of life flashing my rights? No.
But why, I thought ruefully, had I indulged this long internal argument? I might be aging, but sometimes I’m still entirely too ungrown-up inside.